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When you're shooting with DSLRs or camcorders and you want more mobility than that afforded by tripods, bean bags and the like, stabilizer and rig systems of the handheld, shoulder and cage variety really come in handy. And how about when you want to affix a DSLR, camcorder or action camera to a vehicle to catch that awesome motion shot, or to your ski pole to document that crazy trip down the slopes? B&H has a vast and diverse selection of compact support systems to serve all of these purposes, whether you’re just straight-up shooting, capturing action shots and sequences, or active in sports. You’re sure to appreciate the high levels of convenience, comfort and portability offered by these small tools of the trade. Easy to tote, hold and operate, they won’t give you sore joints, muscle aches and fatigue. They will, however, give you excellent, blur-free images and video.
B&H has an impressive lineup of DSLR video rigs that are easily packed and toted around in your gear bag. Setup is fast and easy, so you can start capturing gorgeous, blur-free photos and videos almost immediately. Move from location to location with ease, and give your shoulders and back some much-needed relief from the burden of heavy gear.
On the handheld side, please allow us to introduce Cambo's CS-CILIX 2-Grip Handgrip Rig. Consisting of a CS-M1 compact camera / tripod mount, dual CS-H1 grip handles, a CS-153 triple-rod clamp and three CS-1522 220mm iris rods, it enables you to adjust the weight of the rig on the handle axis and ensures stable shooting for crisp images. The handles feature a slight bend for a comfortable, ergonomic grip. Mount accessories on the rig’s 3/8" thread.
As simple as support systems come, the Anton-Bauer EgripZ is sure to please. It offers a flexible, adjustable and ergonomic grip that can be bent into just about any position you like around your camera. There’s a ¼"-20 mounting thread that screws directly into the bottom of your DSLR. At a mere 12.8 oz (0.36 kg), the EgripZ won’t be putting any kind of undue strain on your arms or joints while you work, and it permits easy, natural, worry-free movement while you shoot. You can hold it in one hand, leaving your other one free to operate the camera controls as needed. Low-angle shots, however, are better taken with two hands on the grip.
Camtrol, too, has some nice offerings, including the Prime 22. Designed to be a go-to support system for DSLRs as well as pro camcorders, this camera buddy is equipped with a 4.5" (11.4 cm) vertical stabilizing bar. Benefit from a comfortable ergonomic grip, as well as an adjustable, channeled stabilizing platform enabling the support of larger DV / DSLR cameras weighing up to 7 lb (3.2 kg), including lenses.
With Hoodman's WristShot DSLR Support System, you can stabilize your handheld video for beautiful, smooth results—while also eliminating wrist fatigue. Enjoy five axis adjustments, a quick release mounting system—and yes, even a tripod adapter mount.
Now for some shoulder-mounted rigs:
They may look like alien weaponry, but CPM Camera Rigs’ shoulder-mount supports are designed for human photographers. The DSLR Bulldog Shoulder Mount Kit is one stacked rig, composed of five carbon-fiber rails, a handle kit, one Uni Strut, a Belly Pan, a quick-release base with QR plate, one 15mm Rod Mount Grip Kit and a counterweight kit including a pair of 1-lb (0.45 kg) weights. Whew! Did you get all that? It may sound like a lot, but you’ll be impressed at how easily the Bulldog allows you to maneuver your camcorder for smooth video capture.
You’re sure to be intrigued by these Zacuto rigs, including the Scorpion DSLR Shoulder Mount Z-DSP with its articulated shoulder assembly—including form-fitting gel pad for superior comfort—and top carry handle for easy, comfortable low-angle shooting. The included 7 lb (3.2 kg) counterbalance helps you maintain equilibrium while you grab those brilliant shots.
Like the cages? Lucky for you, it’s your camera that’s confined inside these enclosures, and not you. Letus35's Talon DSLR Cage is a versatile rig that features a releasable camera plate and sliding, removable top bridge, capable of accepting standard 15mm diameter rods. The cage has multiple standard ¼"-20 mounting holes, enabling virtually endless possibilities for accessorizing.
For a wider but more minimalist approach, try the SHAPE PAPARAZZI II PRO, built via CNC machining. Trust in the double-handle large frame, constructed from strong, durable aluminum, and benefit from 15mm rods enabling compatibility with sophisticated accessories, such as matte boxes and follow focus mechanisms.
You might find just the cage for you in the Zacuto lineup. Take a closer look at the Zwiss Cage, which also features those helpful 15mm rods for accessories. This system has got dual grooved comfort hand grips, as well as a top handle that’s just as ergonomic and makes for easy low-angle shooting.
For smaller support systems than tripods, monopods and unipods make sure you take a look at these camera and camcorder mounts. They are super compact and handy adhesive mounts that stick to flat surfaces, but that’s only the beginning. Next, peek at the car and dashboard mounts permitting the kind of exciting motion shots you see in the movies. If you want to get real serious, the VariZoom's VZ-AUTO RIG Vehicle Mount Kit is probably the way to go. It even includes a low-level tripod and swivel head. This pro-level package enables you to fix your DV mini, DV or HD camera to a vehicle for motion shots. Low-level and other extreme angles and positions are not a problem with this kit in your arsenal.
If you’re looking for a little less equipment, something simpler, consider these visor mounts from Midland and Looxcie, which as the name would imply, attach directly to your car’s visor.
Want to clamp your camera to the passenger-side headrest to capture the driver’s point of view? It can be done, but we recommend doing so with the CruiseCam Short Bar Headrest Camera Mount. Originally developed for racing applications, it provides superior stability, even under bumpy road conditions. It mounts to any twin-post passenger-seat headrest and allows you to capture the driver’s point of view with your camera. Support any compact video camera up to 5 lb (2.3 kg) via a ¼"-20 screw.
We’ve also got various species of car window mounts, some of which look like shelves or mini-ledges, and others which call tripod heads to mind.
Need clamp mounts? As always, you’ve come to the right place. B&H’s inventory of these runs the gamut. A standout is the Delkin Devices Fat Gecko Gator Camera Mount, with its mouth extension and ability to attach to virtually any surface and rotate a full 360 degrees.
If you want options for attaching a camera to a ski pole, bike or other similar mount, be sure to give these handlebar and pole mounts a once-over. The Contour Pole Mount enables you to use your Contour camera—in its protective housing—while riding down the ski slopes, using your walking stick or any other pole between 0.43 – 0.71" (11 – 18mm) in diameter. Enjoy 360-degree rotation and 180-degree tilt.
If you’re into ATV, go-kart or jet-ski riding, you’ve simply got to check out the Flymount Action Sports Camera Mount. Made from glass-reinforced nylon and marine grade stainless-steel components, this support system isn’t messing around. It’s even saltwater resistant (hence, the jet-ski application mentioned above).
Well, here you go. Delkin even makes a Fat Gecko Dual-Suction Camera Mount for double the adhesive power, plus 360-degree tilt, turn and rotation. Going back for a second to the car mounts, let’s take that idea one step further with the Sticky Pod Director Suction Cup Camera Mount, which can also mount to a boat or even a plane. Oh, the possibilities.
If you’re looking to capture wildlife on-camera, a great ally to you in that endeavor would be the XTA-106 Tree Mount for stealth and action cameras, from Midland. Screw it into a tree trunk or branch of your choice at the angle and height that suits your needs best. The XTA-106 features a universal camera mount with ¼"-20 thread.
In terms of support systems, there is a lot of crossover between DSLRs and camcorders. Thus, many of these camcorder supports and rigs are applicable to DSLRs, as well. Let’s take a look at some of the ones designed more specifically for camcorders.
Starting with handheld supports and rigs, we’ve got the Davis & Sanford Steady Stick Compact. Incredibly lightweight at only 1.4 lb (0.65 kg), this is an ideal solution for videographers desiring some relief for their arms and shoulders, but not desiring to shell out a whole lot of cash for it. The Steady Stick’s belt-mounted support transfers camera weight from shoulder to torso, leaving your hands free to direct the camera’s motion. This rig will fit any camcorder with a ¼"-20 socket.
An all-metal L-shaped bracket, the Mighty Wondercam Mini Rover is great for mounting accessories such as microphones and lights in the shoe located above the cushioned hand grip. The camera’s versatile platform, also padded, is reinforced with anti-twist pins to ensure camcorder stability, and features standard tripod mounting holes, as well.
The Sony GP-AVT1 Shooting Grip / Tripod combo is a shooting hand grip that moonlights as a super-compact tripod. It’s a “trip,” alright. Boasting a 3-way fluid head for smooth panning and tilting, the GP-AVT1 has also got standard record and zoom rocker controls that automatically connect to your camcorder via onboard connection. You also get an A/V remote connector, wired remote control capability, vertical adjustment and adjustable zoom speeds. Sound good? We think so, too.
B&H’s selection of shoulder supports and rigs is equally impressive. Anton Bauer STASIS FLEX systems for handheld mid-size camcorders utilize a flexible arm and adjustable chest pad in order to accommodate any body type. Maneuver your camcorder into virtually any shooting position you wish. Attach Gold Mount, ElipZ or other accessories from Anton Bauer to further enhance your videography experience.
The PAG Orbiter offers comfortable weight distribution across the body to prevent fatigue. A telescopic suspension rod provides support and fluid camera control, fitting into a belt-mounted support pad. The Orbiter is especially adept at handling extreme tilting shots. Adjustable straps attach the shoulder pad assembly securely to the included waist belt, and you’re ready to roll.
In addition to handheld and shoulder systems, B&H also offers a variety of stereoscopic 3D rigs. The Ikan Elements Deluxe is a single support for aligning dual cameras. Enabling stereoscopic 3D shooting, it features adjustable interaxial distances, which is crucial for achieving stereoscopic effects. The Elements rig boasts dual camera cheese plates and fits small to medium video cameras. It comes with a pair of cushioned foam hand grips.
The Redrock Micro Micro3D SxS Rig also features a side-by-side camera configuration. Optimized for smaller camcorders such as the Canon XF105, this support is also compatible with the Red ONE. It’s equipped with an 18" (45.7 cm) bar enabling a wide range of interaxial distances, as well as a sturdy tripod connecting plate. Get pinpoint precision with laser-engraved adjustment.
Check out these vehicle-mounting rigs for camcorders. CruiseCam's in-car camera mounts include the Pro Stabilizer and the aforementioned Short Bar Headrest. The Pro, designed especially for racing, allows you to securely mount either one or two camcorders inside a vehicle, connecting to two headrests via clips. Its horizontal Movie Bar supports up to 25 lb (11.3 kg), while its adjustable telescoping legs enable you to find just the right length for your vehicle’s interior. You’ll experience incredible stability—even on extremely bumpy roads.
Whatever your compact support system needs for photography or videography, B&H has the solution. Should you have a favorite type of support that you like to use, and it wasn’t covered here, please feel free to share it with us in the Comment section below. We look forward to hearing from you.